A new Spider-Verse variant of Doctor Strange is an instantly iconic Sorcerer Supreme. In a variant cover for May’s Doctor Strange #3, a mashup of Doctor Strange and Spider-Man emerges from the Spider-Verse, primed and ready for mystical combat. The covers are part of a line-wide variant cover initiative celebrating the forthcoming release of Across the Spider-Verse in June, and will feature a number of Spider-Verse variants of some of Marvel’s most popular characters.
The cover, drawn by Mahmud Asrar, shows the Spider-Man/Doctor Strange mashup sitting cross-legged and hanging upside-down with his webs. No name is given to this fascinating character, but Marvel’s ad copy reveals these variants imagine worlds where different people were bitten by the radioactive spider – in this case Stephen Strange. In Marvel’s Infinity-Stone spawned Warp World – where various heroes are combined into single individuals – the combination including Spider-Man and Doctor Strange is known as Spider Supreme; the perfect name for this new combo.
Doctor Strange Harnesses Spider-Man’s Mystical Potential
This mashup’s outfit is best described as the perfect blend of the two heroes’ uniforms; eight stripes (representing a spider’s eight legs) meet in the center, where sits Doctor Strange’s all-seeing Eye of Agamatto. The mashup also has web-shooters, which they are using to spin glowing, mystical strands of web. Finally, he has spider-like eyes, which grow green with mystic energy. While Peter Parker gained his powers from a radioactive spider bite, he was chosen for this role by the mystic powers of the multiverse, becoming a Spider-Totem. Had this happened to Doctor Strange, it’s likely the Sorcerer Supreme would have taken far more advantage of the mystic connections Spider-powers bring.
The Spider-Verse is One of the Best Things to Happen to Spider-Man
Over the past decade, Marvel has developed the Spider-Verse, featuring different variants of Spider-Man from across the multiverse. In addition to the Earth-616 Spider-Man, Marvel has introduced exciting riffs on Spider-Man, such Spider-Man Noir, Peter Porker the Spectacular Spider-Ham and Spider-Gwen. This concept exploded into the mainstream in the 2018 release of Into the Spider-Verse; the film, a contender for best Spider-Man movie ever, was a smash hit at the box office and landed well with critics. Now, its sequel, Across the Spider-Verse is set to explode the Spider-Verse even further, introducing new and cooler variants – and not to be outdone, the comics are getting into the act.
Steve Ditko’s Iconic Heroes Unite
The mashup also honors the co-creator of both Spider-Man and Doctor Strange: Steve Ditko. In his work on The Amazing Spider-Man and the Doctor Strange serial in Strange Tales, Ditko created a wild new visual style, one rooted in psychedelia, perfect for high-concept fantasy, horror and science fiction stories. Asrar’s cover honors the spirit of Ditko’s work, creating a Spider-Verse version of Doctor Strange that is instantly iconic.
More: Doctor Strange’s New God-Form Gives a Nod to DC’s Watchmen
Doctor Strange #3 is on sale May 31 from Marvel Comics!